Ready for Success--Dayton Promise Neighborhoods
WINNER: Together for Tomorrow School Improvement Challenge Winners
Dayton’s Ready for Success Plan utilizes placed-based strategies from Promise Neighborhoods to provide comprehensive solutions to improve academic outcomes for students in key target schools. In this plan, each one of the identified schools selected by Dayton Public Schools are either priority and/or feeder schools to the lowest performing schools. Each one of the high schools are now implementing School Improvement Grants using the Transformation model. All of the target schools are in Academic Watch or Emergency status, 99% to 100% of students are economically disadvantaged in PreK-8 Schools and 84% to 99% high school students are economically disadvantaged. In addition, these are high poverty areas with extensive problems with crime, unemployment, and deteriorated housing stock where economic disinvestment has occurred for years. A study of students graduating from high poverty Dayton schools found that only 3.4% high school students entered college and graduated on time. Dayton's plan combines evidence-based models for intervention that leverages multi-million dollar investments in housing, community development, family and neighborhood supports including increased policing in response to crime hot spots in the neighborhoods surrounding the target schools. Dayton’s plan includes 1) a focus on school readiness through increased access to preschool and parent education; 2) improved student attendance by providing a continuum of interventions, including home visits; 3) better course performance via tutoring, project-based learning, afterschool and summer interventions as well as other reforms; 4) case management, employment, literacy and other services for families; 5) college access and career readiness interventions including dual credit courses, credit recovering, tutoring and assistance with FAFSA applications. Dayton’s plan calls for partnerships that involve teachers, principals, school administration, parents, business, city, government, community agencies, foundations and citizens, etc. to all work together to promote a path for children that ends in a post secondary credential with a county goal of 39,000 new college graduates by 2020. This plan is being submitted by East End who is a community partner for Dayton Public Schools and a placed-based nonprofit who has modeled its services after Harlem Children’s Zone. In addition, the plan is supported by Wright State University, University of Dayton, Sinclair Community College, United Way of the Greater Dayton Area, Montgomery Office of Family and Children First, City of Dayton, Dayton Metro Library, Dayton Christian Center, parent and neighborhood groups, business leaders, parents and many other organization. The Leadership Council also includes corporate and community leaders including some of the largest employers in the area. Already the community has started an innovative process of combining the application for County and United Way funding, aligning these dollars to common agreed upon educational indicators. This local, emerging plan is expanding efforts in 2012 to increase afterschool, summer, tutoring, college and career awareness and attendance as well as behavioral intervention programs. The plan leverages local investment with funding aligned from school improvement grants, Title I, Race to the Top money, AmeriCorps grants and other federal, state and local resources.